18th August 2023
Instagram has introduced a new music feature that enables users to add a song as a soundtrack to their photo carousel posts to show off their musical taste and is expanding its collaborative publishing feature.
Instagram is introducing new features to provide “fun ways to join in with friends and creators through music, photos and reels”.
The first new feature allows users to add music to their photo carousel and was introduced by pop star Olivia Rodrigo, who used the feature on her account to unveil her latest song “bad idea right?”
With this new Instagram feature, which is in the process of being rolled out, users can attach a song of their choice to create a soundtrack for a carousel post with multiple photos. It works in the same way that tracks can be added to Stories or Reels. The company said of the feature: “Whether you’re sharing a collection of summer memories with friends or moments from your camera roll, you can now add music to your photo carousels. Building off our launch of music for feed photos, anyone can add a song to capture the mood and bring their carousel to life”.
In June, the platform introduced another music-related function, enabling users to share a snippet of the song they are currently listening to via Instagram Notes to help them share their moods, feelings, or simply what they’ve been listening to lately.
Instagram is also expanding access to its Music Library with more regions getting access “in the coming weeks”. Instagram is also partnering with Spotify in Mexico and Brazil on a new initiative to feature 50 of the most popular songs from Instagram Reels with a new Reels Music Chart on Spotify.
Other non-music related updates that have been made this week include the expansion of Instagram’s collaborative posting feature which means users will be able to invite up to three friends to co-author a feed post, carousel or reel. Once they accept, the content will reach each collaborator’s audience and appear on each account’s profile grid. The Collabs feature allows private and public accounts to jointly share content. And finally, there is also an update to the ‘Add Yours’ sticker feature that first launched in 2021 that might incentivise users to create more Reels. Creators can invite their followers to join in on a fun prompt or challenge they create on Reels and then select their favourite submissions to highlight. Creators will be able to pin up to 10 Reels to highlight, and fans will get a notification if their video is selected by the creator.
Instagram is trying to change media creation and consumption in all of its formats to enhance the user experience, providing opportunities for active participation to try to keep users engaged and on the platform. Music is a significant factor in social media interaction, particularly serving as a vital link for younger audiences, so it is a logical step for Instagram to expand its music features and collaboration options to drive more engagement. TikTok has become a powerful influence on music consumption habits and charts around the world and Instagram would be keen to see Reels become a similar influential platform.